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Take time to debrief

Debriefing is critical to the learning process. It helps our brains process information, select key learning points, and imprint them in our memory for future retrieval.

As I was talking to a colleague the other day about the types of debriefing tools that are available from Trainers Warehouse, I realized that we have 4 categories of resources.  Each category is useful for different reasons:

Write on it tools

With these, participants are required to identify key learning points and write them on a desktop reminder.  The exercise of retrieving information and writing it down or representing it with some creative visual icons, uses multiple parts of the brain and helps us remember. Plus we have the added benefit of writing it on an object that will look at frequently, rather than tucking it away in a notebook or drawer.

Processing tools

Each of these use specific prompts to give the facilitator and learners a construct to think about key learning points and next steps. The products that fall into this category include Body Parts Debrief, Start-Stop-Continue-Change, What? So what? Now What?.

Mnemonics

These items require users to come up with a mnemonic that reminds them of the key points. Ideal items to use for this are:

  • Pleasing to the eye
  • Engaging to the touch
  • Inexpensive enough to give out for people to keep
  • Small enough to sit on a desk as a reminder

Good examples include Monstersfrogs, etc.

Visual metaphors

Photo decks and images that you can select as a trigger for key learning and/or next steps for follow-up